Last August, Andy and I decided we were going to do something we really hadn't done in all of our married life-have a budget. Don't get me wrong, we would sit and pay bills at the beginning of the month, and put all of our expenses in a spreadsheet, but, to be honest, anything that was left over was pretty much fair game. And so, every month, the money ould come and then it would go.
It was around this time that I had heard of a book called The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I highly recommend this book, and his plan. The best part of his plan-the envelope system! Every month, we physically set aside certain amounts of cash for certain purposes. For example, we now have a birthday fund, a clothing fund, a Christmas fund. Gone is the panic of my boys going through a growth spurt, and they need new clothes. Gone is the thought of whipping out the credit card for Christmas. If we don't spend a particular envelope in a given month, that's OK. It just accrues for the next month. Actually, I love when that happens!
The result of all of this has been great peace! I never thought I would like a traditional budget, but it is a great thing. I highly recommend this book and this plan!